The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA sets workplace standards designed to protect the health and safety of employees. Workers in child daycare centers face a number of biological and physical hazards while caring for children. OSHA certification requirements help to ensure worker safety and protect the health and safety of children in their care.
First Aid Training
OSHA requires that all employees of licensed daycare facilities must be trained to administer first aid in the event of a physical emergency. First aid training should cover the basics of first aid treatment to be used for both adults and children in the absence of traditional medical care. Training should cover procedures such as cleaning and bandaging wounds, applying pressure to slow bleeding, administering a cold compress and wrapping sprained limbs. Daycare workers may seek first aid training from a qualified OSHA training program or through a local chapter of the American Red Cross, which also meets OSHA standards for first aid training.
Child daycare workers must also be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, according to OSHA requirements. CPR training may be done in conjunction with first aid training, or workers may attend separate training courses for CPR training. Daycare workers typically attend specialized infant and child CPR training, because the skills necessary to respond to a physical emergency vary slightly depending on whether the victim is an adult, child or infant.
Blood-Borne Pathogen Training
Child daycare workers are not only at risk for infection through blood-borne pathogens themselves, but they could be in danger of spreading infectious disease. OSHA requires daycare facilities to provide adequate training to workers regarding blood-borne pathogens within the daycare center. This includes implementing policies and procedures for training daycare employees on the proper use of disinfectants and sanitizers on surfaces, wearing protective gloves while changing diapers or cleaning up bodily fluids, hand-washing and properly cleaning, and cooking and labeling foods in daycare kitchens.
OSHA regulations recommend that daycare providers receive hepatitis vaccinations because of their exposure to feces and potential exposure to other bodily fluids that may contain the virus. The hepatitis vaccination is a series of three shots that must be taken consecutively for effective immunization. The California Childcare Health Program notes that daycare workers must be immunized generally within 10 days of employment or within 24 hours after potential exposure. The vaccination costs must be covered by the employer.
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